SAIC Continues Conversations on Art and Science on March 8

Chicago—Under the leadership of physicist and SAIC President Walter Massey, the Conversations on Art and Science event series was launched in 2011 as a new forum exploring critical perspectives on art, science, design, and technology. The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) resumes this series on Friday, March 8, at 3:00 p.m. with a lecture entitled “Artists/Designers/Entrepreneurs: Is Art School the New Business School?” by Nicholas Negroponte, professor and Chairman Emeritus of the MIT Media Lab and founder of One Laptop per Child.

Negroponte’s upcoming visit is the latest in a series of developments at SAIC related to the nexus of art, design, and science. On February 7 the National Endowment for the Arts published its conversation on the topic with Pamela Jennings, Director of the SAIC Earl and Brenda Shapiro Center for Research and Collaboration. In December, SAIC teamed with the new Urban Center for Computation and Data (UrbanCCD), paving the way for SAIC students to study the impact of mobile computation, urban sensing, and embedded systems on architecture, urban design, and urban planning. In October, George Aye and Sara Cantor Aye, faculty members in SAIC’s Department of Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects (AIADO), received a $10,000 City 2.0 grant from TED to support Designing Chicago: New Tools for Public Transit, a project from their Greater Good Studio that leverages public participation and design to improve citywide navigation.

“Nicholas Negroponte will bring to our campus critical insight about the development of big ideas,“ says SAIC President Walter Massey. “Major breakthroughs are made by those who are able to step back, reinterpret the world around us, and give us new ways of appreciating and understanding the present. This creative process is one of several connections between the disciplines within art and science, and I am certain it will make for a lively connection between Negroponte and the SAIC community.”

SAIC launched the Conversations on Art and Science series in 2011. The program invites notable artists, designers, and scholars to discuss their work as it relates to a selected theme, and hosts an annual Pecha Kucha event showcasing SAIC faculty and other local artists and scholars in conversation, juxtaposition, or contraposition around the same theme. Past presenters include innovator Henry King, physicists Heinrich Jaeger, Sidney Nagel, and Wendy Zhang, and designer James Carpenter.

About Nicholas Negroponte
Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at MIT and Chairman Emeritus of the MIT Media Lab, Nicholas Negroponte is founder and chairman of the One Laptop per Child non-profit association. He was co-founder and director of the MIT Media Lab and the Jerome B. Wiesner Professor of Media Technology. A graduate of MIT, Negroponte was a pioneer in the field of computer-aided design, and has been a member of the MIT faculty since 1966. Conceived in 1980, the Media Lab opened its doors in 1985. He is also author of the 1995 best seller, Being Digital, which has been translated into more than 40 languages. In the private sector, Negroponte serves on the board of directors for Motorola, Inc. and as general partner in a venture capital firm specializing in digital technologies for information and entertainment. He has provided start-up funds for more than 40 companies, including Wired magazine.

About the School of the Art Institute of Chicago
A leader in educating artists, designers, and scholars since 1866, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) offers nationally accredited undergraduate and graduate degrees and post-baccalaureate programs to nearly 3,200 students from around the globe. SAIC also enables adults, high school students, middle school students, and children to flourish in a variety of courses, workshops, certificate programs, and camps through its Continuing Studies program. Located in the heart of Chicago, SAIC has an educational philosophy built upon an interdisciplinary approach to art and design, giving students unparalleled opportunities to develop their creative and critical abilities, while working with renowned faculty who include many of the leading practitioners in their fields. SAIC's resources include the Art Institute of Chicago and its new Modern Wing; numerous special collections and programming venues provide students with exceptional exhibitions, screenings, lectures, and performances. For more information, please visit

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Nicholas Negroponte, professor and Chairman Emeritus of the MIT Media Lab and founder of One Laptop per Child, lectures on Friday, March 8

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